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Carol Lawrence To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, October 18, 2009

Broadway musical theatre icon Carol Lawrence will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Sunday, October 18, 2009 at a 3:00 pm Gala concert in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, followed by Cocktails and Dinner at 6:30 pm at the New York Athletic Club. Special guests will include Licia Albanese, Martina Arroyo, Barbara Conrad, Charles Hamlen, Marta Eggerth Kiepura, Rosalind Elias, Marilyn Horne, Richard Margison, Sherrill Milnes, Patrice Muncel, Samuel Ramey, and Teresa Stratas.

The 35th annual Benefit Gala will also honor winners of the Foundation's annual International Competition, which has become one of the most prestigious vocal competitions in the United States. A total amount of $50,000 in prize money (ranging from $1,000 to $12,500) in 7 categories are given to the winners, with often more than one winner in the same category. Ms. Lawrence will personally receive her award from Ms. Albanese. At 96 years of age, Ms. Albanese is known not only as one of opera's greatest stars, but as a dedicated philanthropist who, since 1974, has been assisting the careers of young artists and singers. For more information about the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and this event, please call (212) 472-3556 or visit

A Tony and Grammy Award nominee, a best selling author, television star, recording artist, concert headliner and notable humanitarian, Carol Lawrence created the role of "Maria" in the Leonard Bernstein/Jerome Robbins Broadway classic West Side Story. Miss Lawrence also starred in numerous other Broadway productions including Saratoga, Subways are for Sleeping, Nightlife, I Do, I Do, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Additionally, she has starred in national tours of Funny Girl, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Sound of Music, Sweet Charity, No, No, Nanette, Woman of the Year, and Sugar Babies. She was also the first recipient ever in The category of Live Theatre to receive a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. Still a triple crown performer in all genres of entertainment, Ms. Lawrence more recently starred with Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie in the critically acclaimed production Girl's Room at New York's Queens Theatre in the Park and at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles. With its eye on a Broadway run, this charming new comedy by author Joni Fritz about three generations of lively women and the lies that bind them together, as well as the truths that tear them apart, centers around a young ballet dancer about to break into the big-time who has another kind of break - an accident that could end her career.

On Monday, October 18, 7:30 pm at the St. Luke's Theatre, Carol Lawrence will host The Unsinkable Peter Gennaro, an evening of reminiscences and joy, celebrating the history, the legacy and the lives of the dancers of Peter Gennaro. This spectacular fundraising benefit will be presented by the Dancers Over 40 organization which was created as a not-for-profit organization to provide a community of support in response to the fiscal - as well as physical - needs of mature dancers, choreographers and related artists. The organziation's goals are to seek educational opportunities, present seminars, socials, panel discussions on topics important to mature dancers concerned about their ability to continue to live and work in a creative environment, and continue the legacy to those dancers about to begin their journey. Founding members include Eilleen Casey, John Mineo, Christopher Nelson, Frank Pietri, and the late Zoya Leporska and Gretchen Wyler.

Ms. Lawrence will be joined by Broadway's Lee Roy Reams as co-host. Additional stars include a cross section of Peter Gennaro's best dancers from his Broadway and television days. Scheduled to participate are Iva Withers, who performed with Gennaro in the original Guys and Dolls, Penny Worth and Steve Boockvor (Annie), Geri Siegnious and Chita Rivera (Bajour), and performers from the Sullivan and Como years, Nicole Barth, Gary Gendell, Bill Guske and Larry Fuller. Many of these performers also performed in West Side Story with Carol Lawrence, including Chita Rivera and the evening's illustrious moderator, Harvey Evans.

Footage from Gennaro's most memorable dances, including a duet with Carol Lawrence and Peter Gennaro will be featured. Liza Gennaro, who has staged a special presentation for the event, will also speak about her father. As is custoMary For the Dancers Over 40 organization, the evening will be filmed and the tape donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Tickets may be purchased at the St Luke's Theatre Box Office (308 W 46th St., New York, NY 10036; Tel: (212) 246-8140) Tuesday through Friday between 2:00 and 6:00 pm, or by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. For further information about this event and Dancers Over 40, Inc. please visit

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